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RBA ends the year with interest rates unchanged

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RBA ends the year with interest rates unchanged

In a widely expected move, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) in its meeting today decided to keep the official cash rate unchanged at 1.5 per cent for the 16th month in a row. In August 2016, the RBA last cut the cash rate, after an earlier cut to 1.75 per cent in May.

November data from CoreLogic showed value of capital city dwellings fall 0.1 per cent during the month, spreading the slide which started in September and October.

CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless wrote earlier this week “A housing market in a ‘cooling off’ phase is not unexpected considering the tighter credit conditions, heightened regulatory environment, affordability constraints and subdued consumer confidence.

This downturn in dwelling values is following a similar trajectory which followed the previous major macro prudential policies announcement in December 2014.

This time, it is unlikely there will be a lifeline given to the housing market with cuts to the cash rate. Dr Shane Oliver, AMP Capital chief economist said the RBA is likely to keep the rates on hold until late next year.

He said “While strong business conditions, solid jobs growth, improving global growth and the RBA’s own forecasts for a pick-up in growth argue for an eventual rate hike, ongoing low inflation, record low wages growth, uncertainty around consumer spending, signs that the housing cycle is slowing and the still strong Australian dollar argue against a rate hike”.

RBA governor Philip Lowe said the low-level of interest rates was “continuing to support the Australian economy”.

Lowe said “Australia’s terms of trade are expected to decline in the period ahead but remain at relatively high levels”.

Recent data suggests that the Australian economy grew at around its trend rate over the year to the September quarter. Business conditions are positive and capacity utilisation has increased.

“Employment growth has been strong over 2017 and unemployment rate has declined”, the RBA governor said.

 

“Inflation remains low, with both CPI and underlying inflation running a little below 2 per cent. The Bank's central forecast remains for inflation to pick up gradually as the economy strengthens. The Australian dollar remains within the range that it has been in over the past two years.”

If you have any questions about how this may affect you, please get in touch today.

 

Teaching your Children about money in the digital world

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'Invisible money' is becoming more prominent in the digital age, teaching your children about money and how to manage it is now more important than ever.

Read more: Teaching your Children about money in the digital world

   

Enhance your Mobile Security

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With the proliferation of smartphones and internet-connected devices, the focus of online security is rapidly shifting away from the desktop and towards mobile devices. Leading experts believe that the fast-paced embrace of mobile devices in our everyday lives are leaving us vulnerable to financial risks.

A 2014 Norton Report indicated that the total cost of cybercrime in Australia for 2013 was AU$1.06 billion, whilst the number of Australian cybercrime victims has reached 5 million. Despite these alarming statistics, many Australians are not aware of the dangers.

Read more: Enhance your Mobile Security

   

How to find the dream tenants for your Investment properties

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Over the past two decades, purchasing investment properties have made a great deal of money for some Australians by providing their owners’ with a constant stream of steady income. If you currently own an investment property, or are in the market for one, be aware that there are a number of different factors that can impact your return on investment. Of those considerations, having good tenants is of upmost importance.

Read more: How to find the dream tenants for your Investment properties

   

Local school gets a big helping hand from Heritage Isle

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When Karen Hinds, the Heritage Isle Beaconsfield branch manager, found out the local primary school had been vandalised over the holidays she was devastated. Herself and other staff at the branch had children who had attended Beaconsfield Primary and now the current students would be going back to a school without a playground.

"Children were about to go back to school and now they can't play on that equipment - it is sad" she said, talking to The Examiner last week. Parts of the school had been vandalised by graffiti and the playground had been burnt over the school holidays. Heritage Isle prides itself on being close to the community so it was important to give back and help rebuild. 

Annette Griffin, the Chief Executive of Heritage Isle, wanted to make sure the community knew they had a friend in Heritage Isle so the credit union donated $1000 to the school to help with the damage. "Our staff really concentrate on our grassroots and we bank with children, so it's really important that we can support them in some way, that is what motivated us to step in".

Mrs Griffin hopes that the actions of Heritage Isle will encourage more community groups to step in and help rebuild the school that has helped with the education of so many local children over the years. The feeling of giving back to a community is one that the staff at Heritage Isle cherish above all else.

 

   

New Bitcoin tech pushes Financial Institutions into the future

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Bitcoin, a decentralised digital currency (also known as a cryptocurrency) is behind a technological shift that may have widespread impacts on the future of financial systems.

Read more: New Bitcoin tech pushes Financial Institutions into the future